Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Mamula” (or “Killer Mermaid”)
By: Brian Cotnoir
Back when I reviewed “The Seasoning House”, I made a remark about how I wished there could be just one film set in the Balkans that isn’t about War Criminals or Human Trafficking. Then one day last year, a friend of mine posted a trailer for a movie produced by a Serbian film studio on my Facebook wall, a film called “Nymph: Killer Mermaid”, I of course was immediately intrigued. So I decided to give it a watch, in hopes that it would be everything I hoped for and more. What I got was very...meh.So the original title of the film is “Mamula” and it is set in country of Montenegro on a beautiful island town, where two American Girls named Kelly and Lucy have traveled to visit an old college friend who lives there named Alex. The three friends (along with Alex’s fiancée) meet a man named Boban (or Bobby) who convinces them to go explore a mysterious Island Military Base called Mamula. A local man named Niko warn the young people to stay away from Mamula because it has a certain evil about it and was used by the Nazi’s during World War II as a Concentration Camp. The friends still decide to tour the old Military Base where they come across a mysterious old sea captain disposing of bloody remains down an old well. The group takes a look down the well to discover a young woman trapped below, only she is not a woman, but unbelievably enough a mermaid—a killer mermaid at that. The killer mermaid seduces Alex and Bobby with her song, and now it’s up to Kelly and Lucy, and Niko to stop her.
Well the film does have some positive things going for it. For one thing it has a lot of beautiful panoramic scenery to work with, and I can honestly say the killer mermaid is a cool sounding idea...but let me make something clear: Killer Mermaids SOUND cool, but sounding cool isn’t the same as looking and being cool.
|It's Not Worth the Payoff!|
Other than that this film is very underwhelming. The story of the “American tourists who go to a foreign country, and go to a mysterious forbidden place/island despite the clear verbal warning of imminent death from a scary local” has been done to death! Also, there’s a ton of build up around these killer mermaid’s—or Killer mermaid I should say as there is only one shown the entire film—and boy do they make you wait to see it. They build up this mermaid so much that I began to anticipate that I was going to see one of the most epic things I’d ever see in a film. What I got was a CGI mermaid so bad, that it rivals the Scorpion King from “The Mummy Returns” for Most Terrible CGI creation ever! I’m not kidding this mermaid looks so fake and horrible! That was an hour and twenty minute long build-up for absolutely nothing! I mean, how can you have a film called “Killer Mermaid” and barely show it at all?
|Your spells can't stop this movie from sucking!|
As bad as the Mermaid is as a villain/character, she at least has an interesting background story that I wish they would’ve talked about more in the film. Niko explains that the mermaid was discovered by the Nazi’s during World War II, and that she used her song-spell to capture and devour groups of soldiers. She granted immunity from death to one of the soldiers in exchange for bringing her sacrifices to the island. There’s also a hint at the end that there are even more killer mermaids hiding in the seas of Montenegro (and it leaves it open-ended for a possible sequel). I’ll be honest with you; I am more interested in learning the origins of the Killer Mermaid than anything.
Unless you’re super interested in Mermaids, I don’t recommend you check out “Mamula/Nymph/Killer Mermaid”, it’s dull, it has a lot of build-up and no pay off, and it is about as generic as a plot as you can get performed by actors who speak the entire film in fractured-English. So do yourself a favor, and skip over this one.